The Names Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In Chapter 13, Charles tells James that the Northeast Group has been giving intelligence to what group?

2. What does Andahl refused to divulge about the cult in Chapter 9?

3. In Chapter 10, where does James say he is traveling instead of Kuwait?

4. In Chapter 10, where does James hear that Eliades is moving?

5. What unfortunate incident happens on James's second day of driving with Tap in Chapter 8?

Short Essay Questions

1. What admission does James make to Lindsay Keller in Chapter 13?

2. How did Del Nearing and Frank Volterra meet?

3. What point about the murders does Andahl make in Chapter 9?

4. How does James seduce Janet Ruffing at the end of Chapter 9?

5. How does James follow up on his Mani discovery later in Chapter 8?

6. How does James learn the truth behind the CIA in Chapter 13?

7. What transpires during James' evening with Del Nearing in Chapter 10?

8. What offer does David Keller make James in Chapter 8, and how does James respond?

9. How does Owen experience the murder in Chapter 12?

10. In Chapter 8, what does James see in Mani that shakes him up?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the Northeast Group, what it ostensibly does as a company, how it is represented in the novel, and what it, in reality, is a functionary of. What is James Axton's role within the Northeast Group? What other character is his contact, and how does this character represent a strange intensity unusual for a private company? What does the Group do in the novel, and how are its true functions slyly revealed tot he reader and James Axton alike? What is the fallout?

Essay Topic 2

The Names takes place in a place and time in which new and unknown dangers are emerging for expat Americans. The novel finds clever and unnerving ways to illustrate these dangers. Write an essay in three parts dealing with the way DeLillo illustrates danger and fear in the novel:

Part 1) Discuss the new international reality that is emerging for Americans in the early 1980's. What is the state of the Cold War at this time? What events have illustrated the new danger posed by religious extremism? To what extent is James Axton's profession the quintessential creation of American expat culture in this time?

Part 2) James Axton is clearly a character what sits at the tip of the spear for international danger. What dangers exist for him throughout the novel? Discuss ambiguous characters, messages, and events that strike him as dangerous? What violent moment serves as the culmination of this nascent danger, and who does James think is responsible for it?

Part 3) Discuss the subterranean actions that place James Axton's life in danger throughout the novel. How has James been an unwitting pawn of the intelligence community? What was hunting him throughout the novel? How does he discover the true nature of his work?

Essay Topic 3

The action of Don DeLillo's The Names largely centers on a group of westerners' search for the language cult that stalks Eurasia. Each of these men has a reason for seeking this death-cult, and each has tactics that yield varying success. Write an essay about the individual quests for the cult in the novel:

Part 1) Why does Frank Volterra want to find the death cult in The Names, and what is his intention when he does find them? Discuss how Volterra initially hears about the cult, and what tactic he uses to find them. What success does this yield? Why does the director give up?

Part 2) Why does James Axton want to find the cult? Discuss what other events in his life coincide with this dangerous quest. What does James discover about the cult, and how? How is his sense of sanity affected by this? What new fears and obsessions does the search evoke?

Part 3) Why does Owen Brademas want to find the death cult? How does his childhood relate to his goals in the quest? Discuss what tactics and skills make Owen Brademas the most successful of the searchers in the novel. Why, in the end, does Owen consider his search a failure?

(see the answer keys)

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